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Merkel defends rollout as vaccine pressure grows.

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Accessed on 25 March 2021, 1203 UTC, Post 1103.

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Russ Roberts

https://www.hawaiigeopoliticalnews.com

BBC News World

Latest Updates

  1. Islamists 'staged attack' near Mozambique gas project

    Jose Tembe

    BBC News, Maputo

    A map of Mozambique

    Mozambique’s defence ministry says Islamist militants carried out Wednesday's attack in the northern town of Palma, close to a multi-billion dollar gas project run by French oil giant Total.

    The ministry’s spokesperson Omar Saranga said they are yet to know of any casualties from the attack because the area is unreachable by telephone.

    He said the attackers forced residents to abandon the village and seek refuge in a forest.

    Local news outlet Carta de Mocambique reports that the attackers targeted banks, shops, a hotel and the barracks of the riot police.

    It says the shooting ended in the early hours of Thursday when government troops regained control of the town.

    The attack came hours after Total announced the resumption of work at the gas project located on the Afungi peninsula. Construction work was halted at the beginning of the year after an attack at a nearby town.

    A three-year Islamist insurgency in the Cabo Delgado province has left over 2,000 people dead and about 600,000 others displaced, according to official figures.

    More on this topic:

  2. EU leaders meet and German infections rise: Latest across Europe

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks on at the country"s parliament, the Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany, March 25, 2021.
    Image caption: Chancellor Angela Merkel told the Bundestag on Thursday that Germany and the EU were in effect in a "new pandemic"

    EU leaders will take the AstraZeneca row centre stage in a virtual summit after officials in Brussels proposed stricter export controls for countries with higher vaccination rates than the EU, such as the UK and US. Vaccination rates are sluggish in much of the EU and several countries, in particular Austria, want a new distribution system.

    EU leaders will also discuss a planned digital green certificate to allow summer travel across borders. Estonia is planning to have a digital vaccine certificate up and running from next month and Denmark is working on a corona passport.

    There’s been another big rise in German infections in the past 24 hours, with health officials announcing 22,657 cases. Vaccination centres are managing 268,000 inoculations a day but that’s well below capacity. Spain says only half of its population aged over 80 has so far been vaccinated. France starts vaccinating over 70s from Saturday.

    Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has proposed a new law to limit movement in the capital Helsinki to tackle an increase in Covid cases. The bill could go before MPs today and would stop people visiting each other’s homes in Turku as well as the capital.

    France is to crack down on gatherings of more than six people outdoors by imposing fines. The rule does not apply to authorised groups such as funerals or professional meetings. Sixteen areas of France are already under lockdown and three more areas including the Rhône are expected to be added to that list.

    Dutch church in the town of Urk says it’s been getting death threats because it has gone back to holding services for hundreds of people. Its spokesman Hessel Snoek insists infections in Urk are low and last Sunday the church was almost full. The government advice is a maximum of 30.

  3. Outrage in Kenya after hawker dragged on tarmac

    The governor of Kenya's western Kisumu county has suspended local officials who were filmed on Wednesday dragging a fruit vendor along the road.

    Local media report that the woman had refused to give a bribe. She was selling oranges and lemons on a pavement in the city where hawking is prohibited.

    The woman told journalists that one of the officials seated at the back of the pick-up truck held her hand and refused to let her go as the vehicle sped off.

    The driver of the vehicle drove to a nearby police station after a mob gave chase. Police fired tear gas to disperse an angry crowd that gathered at the station.

    Governor Anyang' Nyong'o said he had suspended from duty all officials involved in the incident until investigations are concluded.

  4. Botswana rules out bacteria in latest elephant deaths

    Hundreds of carcasses were spotted with the help of aerial surveys earlier last year.
    Image caption: Hundreds of carcasses were spotted last year

    Botswana's environment ministry says it identified 39 more elephant carcasses since January as it investigated the unexplained deaths of elephants in the country.

    The latest deaths in the Moremi Game Reserve add to the 330 deaths reported last year between May and June in the country's Okavango Delta.

    The ministry on Wednesday said its preliminary investigations had ruled out anthrax and bacterial infections as the cause of death.

    It also ruled out poaching, saying further investigations on the deaths and surveillance were ongoing.

    It said extensive air and field investigations did not uncover any death of other wildlife species.

    The hundreds of deaths last year were attributed to the ingestion by the animals of toxins that can occur naturally in standing water.

    The toxins, made by microscopic algae in water, are known as cyanobateria.

    Botswana is home to a third of Africa's declining elephant population.

  5. Protests ahead of ruling on Namibia gay man's twins

    Esther Akello Ogola

    Women's Affairs Journalist, BBC News

    Protesters have taken to the streets in Namibia ahead of a court ruling on whether a gay father can return home from South Africa with his newborn twin daughters, who were born to a surrogate mother.

    Phillip Lühl says his daughters are stateless after the Namibian authorities refused to issue emergency travel papers.

    He says the South African birth certificate recognises him and his Mexican husband (Guillermo Delgado) as the twins’ parents, not the surrogate mother.

    Namibia does not allow same-sex marriage.

    Activists have decried the government’s stance saying it is discriminatory and undermines equality especially for members of the LGBTQ community.

  6. Charity says staff 'witnessed army killings' in Tigray

    Ashley Lime

    BBC News, Nairobi

    Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says its staff on Tuesday witnessed Ethiopian soldiers shoot dead four civilians in the northern Tigray region.

    In a statement, MSF said members of its staff who were travelling witnessed the incident that took place on a road that connects the state capital, Mekele, to Adigrat.

    "The soldiers then forced the passengers to leave the minibuses. The men were separated from the women, who were allowed to walk away. Shortly after, the men were shot," it said in a statement

    It said that its workers also saw "what appeared to be the aftermath of an ambush of an Ethiopian military convoy, by another armed group, in which soldiers were injured and killed".

    "Military vehicles were still on fire," it said.

    The agency has called for the protection of civilians during the conflict.

    On Tuesday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told MPs that soldiers found to have committed atrocities in Tigray will be held "accountable".

    The prime minister ordered the military offensive in November last year after fighters allied to the regional administration in Tigray attacked a military base housing government troops.

    The fighting has reportedly killed thousands of people and displaced hundreds of thousands.

  7. Video content

    Video caption: Nigeria: Challenging stereotypes as a mother with spinal muscular atrophy

    Agaezichi Joy is challenging stereotypes as a mother with spinal muscular atrophy.

  8. Seychelles to reopen to tourists

    Video content

    Video caption: Visitors will need to abide by the islands' health and safety measures

    Visitors will need to abide by the islands' health and safety measures.

  9. Trial of Ivory Coast election massacre suspect begins

    Lalla Sy

    BBC News, Abidjan

    Followers of internationally-recognized Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara pose on April 5, 2011 at the entrance of the western Ivory Coast town of Duekoue.
    Image caption: Amade Oueremi is the only defendant being prosecuted for the massacre perpetrated in the west of Ivory Coast

    A trial related to one of the worst massacres during Ivory Coast's post-election crisis of 2010-2011 started on Wednesday.

    It is a long-awaited trial that could determine who were the accomplices of former militia leader Amade Oueremi in the massacre in the western town of Duekoue.

    Mr Oueremi is accused of war crimes.

    He is the only defendant being prosecuted in the case where hundreds of people were arrested and killed amid political clashes and ethnic tensions fuelled by land disputes.

    According to several NGOs, Mr Oueremi's militia was also responsible for the destruction of a displaced people's camp in Nahibly, near Duekoue, in July 2012.

    He was arrested 10 months later by the Ivorian military (FRCI) while hiding in one of the classified forests of the country, where he was living from timber trafficking and the farming and sale of cocoa beans.

    The Côte d’Ivoire Victims’ Collective (COVICI) group says the former militia leader should not be the only person being prosecuted.

    But the appearance of Mr Oueremi in court is seen as a beginning to seeking justice for the thousands of victims.

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